Nicknamed the “Heart of Screenland” (movie classics like Gone with The Wind, The Wizard of Oz and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial were filmed here) Culver City still feels like a place out of a movie. Even though big, new neighbors like Amazon Studios, Apple, and TikTok have moved in, Culver City has maintained that charming, small town feel thanks to a blend of thoughtfully-designed, urban spaces for gathering and carefully-restored, nature preserves for walking and hiking. It’s also one of the most diverse cities in America—eating here is like taking your family’s tastebuds on a mini trip around the world! Scroll down to explore our must-visit list of local gems and to see how you can spend a full day of fun in Culver City with the kids.
photo: Joshua White
How to Get to Culver City
Located just south of the 10 freeway, Culver City is tucked between Venice and Mid-City although you don't need a car to explore this neighborhood. You can easily come by bus, metro train, and even bike and leave your car at home. Once you’ve arrived, you’ll see (and enjoy) how pedestrian-friendly Culver City really is.
If you do decide to drive, there are loads of parking options downtown that include public structures, meters, as well as some residential side streets—just make sure to read the parking signs as a lot of residential streets are permit parking only.
Where to Get Breakfast in Culver City
If you've arrived in the morning, it's time to grab some coffee (and food for the kids). These cafés and patisseries are just the caffeinated jump you need to start your day.
Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen
If you need a good nosh, follow the intoxicating aroma of pastrami and corned beef and head straight to Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen on the corner of Irving and Washington Blvd. The good news is, they serve breakfast all day so you know everyone (including the under 5 set) will be happily fed and more than satisfied (even if you land here closer to dinnertime). Don't miss the Challah French Toast for the kids and the Manny's Breakfast Burrito for yourself (eggs, pastrami, caramelized onions, roasted peppers, potatoes, melted cheese and smashed avocado served with house-made tomatillo salsa).
9552 Washington Blvd.
Super Domestic Coffee
This corner shop not only offers specialty coffee or tea (vanilla bourbon latte, anyone?) but you can treat the little ones to a “babyccino” —a hot chocolate with mini marshmallows and rainbow sprinkles. The cycle-themed café also carries a particularly wide array of dairy alternatives like soy, oat, hemp, and even, pistachio milk.
Insider Tip: The shop sits catty corner to the city’s iconic Rainbow art installation—a symbol for imagination and optimism as well as a cultural nod to The Wizard of Oz (it was originally filmed on the old MGM studio lot which is now the home of Sony Pictures). This dazzling steel arc, rises almost 100 feet into the air and can be seen from all over town. For visitors interested in an up-close look, Sony Pictures’ long-running studio tour program is open to the public, with tickets available at sonypicturesstudiostours.com.
10054 Culver Blvd.
People in-the-know flock to this pastry shop to get their hygge-fix and experience the true taste of Denmark’s featherweight, just-sweet-enough pastries (although with over 1200, 5-star reviews the secret is definitely out). Favorites include the almond-y Kringle, the Copenhagen (described by some as “sunshine caught in a pastry”), adorable Napoleon Hat cookies, and, for adults—the Rumkugle (cake meets truffle with dark chocolate and rum).
11113 Washington Blvd.
What to Do in Culver City with Kids
Stoneview Nature Center: Ready to really run around? Head to free-to-the-public, Stoneview Nature Center, where your kids can explore five acres of fruit trees, art gardens and stroller-friendly paths. You can sample edible plants from their hydroponic garden, observe butterfly habitats, and learn about a bee hotel. You can even borrow an “Everybody Explores” backpack from the visitor center, packed with discovery tools to further your little ones’ connection with nature.
Insider Tip: There are clean public restrooms here and a touch-less water bottle refill station inside the visitor center.
5950 Stoneview Dr.
Culver City Park: This park has something for everyone—an undulating skate park, multitiered playground, rollicking dog park and expansive grassy areas. While you’re there, be sure to explore the epic, zig-zagging boardwalk that connects visitors to the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook for beautiful vista views.
To get to this small adventure: From the playground, follow the path of blue dog prints, painted on the sidewalk (like a real-life Blue’s Clues trail!) until you see a crosswalk to a small parking lot, where the path to the wooden ramp begins.
9910 Jefferson Blvd.
Village Well Books & Coffee: If you need a spot to catch your breath with a snack or just a coffee, stop by this book and coffee shop. While you're there, you can shop the latest staff picks and buy something in the children’s section, which features a Spanish language shelf and handwritten book reviews by kids from neighboring schools.
Good to Know: There is a free parking lot in the back of the store.
9900 Culver Blvd.
Platform Park: Bring your nibbles and drinks to this jewel-sized park and set up a picnic with a view that’s sure to delight train-loving kids in LA. Platform Park is a slice of zen at the corner of Washington and National Blvd. and may be Culver City's best kept secret. It’s tucked under the MTA Expo Line, which will punctuate your hangout with the chug-CHUG chug-CHUG of morning commuters, riding overhead. There’s often a tasty rotation of “pop-up” food trucks at the east end of the park and the park itself is connected to Platform Los Angeles, an open-air retail space with trendy boutiques and even more good eats. Fun fact: All the materials for the park were sourced within 100 miles of the site, including the sculptural benches, fashioned from trees that were salvaged from landfills.
Bonus? A fence around most of the park keeps traffic out and toddlers in!
8806 Washington Blvd.
Downtown Culver City
Hang out in the four-block stretch of Culver Blvd. (between Duquesne Ave. and Main St.) that brims with small town charm. Play at The Culver Steps or stroll along the corridor where you’ll encounter historical sites like City Hall (beautifully lit at night) and the storied Culver Hotel (Fun Fact: The actors who played the munchkins during the filming of The Wizard of Oz stayed there!). And if you're lucky, the Lion's Fountain, located outside the Culver Hotel, will be on—allowing the kids to run through the random water sprays until it's ready to say goodnight.
Insider's Tip: Turn your walk into a scavenger hunt and challenge your crew to spot the beloved Lucy and Desi mural (Hint: It’s across from Honey’s Kettle Fried Chicken.); and Moving Pictures, a series of seven unique zoetropes installed throughout downtown to celebrate the origin of cinema and Culver City’s film studio history.
Where to Eat in Culver City with Kids
Your kid-friendly eating options for lunch and dinner are almost endless in Culver City. And if you need help deciding—here are some of our favorite restaurants in Culver City with kids:
While some taco diehards might say Titos Tacos is a must, we think this modern taquería, that offers fresh, healthy takes on SoCal’s Mexican street food scene is the place to go. From the moment you arrive, the Latin beats and fun, retro vibe make you want to dance! Their food is a feast for the eyes and tummy—standouts include slow-braised steak, fish, and even, jackfruit; along with mouth-watering quesadillas and nachos.
They offer “kid style” versions of many dishes; and their Deep Dish Taco, akin to a cheesy Mexican lasagna, is also a popular choice! Your kiddos will love how the food comes neatly packed in their own “chicas chic” pink food trays, which echo the playful palette of yellow, green and pink that fills the space. Round out the family fiesta with a libation from their extensive drinks list and top it all off with some churro bites for dessert!
9345 Culver Blvd.
Iron Teapot Dim Sum & Bar: When it’s time to refuel, head over to Iron Teapot for some dim sum. Dim sum is like Chinese tapas (or small plates), traditionally served with tea. Each dish comes in its own covered, bamboo steamer basket; and opening each course feels like unwrapping a delicious gift! Whether you’ve never tried it or you grew up on the stuff, Iron Teapot is sure to win over the whole family—they even have vegan twists on the classics!
Their shaded patio seating and contactless ordering make this the best time to come feast on rainbow soup dumplings, sweet rice wraps, and steamed dessert buns. Combine this with colorful matching tea sets and a Robot Cat Cart. Yep, you read that right—a cheeky, talking cart that resembles a robotic cat brings your order straight from the kitchen to your table—everyone will be left clamoring for more!
Good to Know: Reservations are required. Visit their website for more info, including how to sign up for a “Parent & Me Bao Making” class!
10306 Venice Blvd.
Honey's Kettle Fried Chicken: If you’re in the mood for some down-home Southern cooking, then you’ve gotta try Honey’s. The gravitational pull of their golden fried chicken and honey-coated biscuits have been drawing crowds to Culver City for over twenty years. Don't miss the vat of warm honey where you can pump that sticky, liquid gold and take it back to your table to drizzle over your chicken and biscuits. YUM.
9537 Culver Blvd.
—Mary J. Lim